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    • Join Date: Dec 2006
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    #1

    "to be to" for arrangements

    Hello

    I'm just revising gerunds and infinitives with my students and I'm wondering if there is a difference between the following two sentences:

    1. The President is visiting Poland next month.
    2. The President is to visit Poland next month.

    Could it be that in the second sentence in addition to the idea of arrangement, there is also the idea of a certain distance of the speaker regarding the utterance? That's just a feeling I have but I'm really not sure.

    Native speakers' opinions appreciated.

    Thanks in advance.

  1. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: "to be to" for arrangements

    Quote Originally Posted by kameier View Post
    Hello

    I'm just revising gerunds and infinitives with my students and I'm wondering if there is a difference between the following two sentences:

    1. The President is visiting Poland next month.
    2. The President is to visit Poland next month.

    Could it be that in the second sentence in addition to the idea of arrangement, there is also the idea of a certain distance of the speaker regarding the utterance? That's just a feeling I have but I'm really not sure.

    Native speakers' opinions appreciated.

    Thanks in advance.
    I don't see any significant difference. Perhaps, the second is a little bit more tentative.

    I assume you are aware that "visiting" in the first is not a gerund.


    • Join Date: Dec 2006
    • Posts: 8
    #3

    Re: "to be to" for arrangements

    Hello Mike

    Thanks for the quick reply. I'm aware that the 'visiting' in the first sentence is part of the present continuous or progressive, no worries there. I wrote down the two sentences because in my students' grammar section it says that "to be to" is used for arrangements and orders. And then I thought about the difference between that structure and the present continuous...

    I appreciate very much to be able to ask these tiny questions that sometimes students ask and - as a non-native - they can be really tricky to answer but it helps when you see that the difference is not really great -even for people with English as their mother tongue.

    So thanks a lot.

  2. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: "to be to" for arrangements

    Quote Originally Posted by kameier View Post
    Hello Mike

    Thanks for the quick reply. I'm aware that the 'visiting' in the first sentence is part of the present continuous or progressive, no worries there. I wrote down the two sentences because in my students' grammar section it says that "to be to" is used for arrangements and orders. And then I thought about the difference between that structure and the present continuous...

    I appreciate very much to be able to ask these tiny questions that sometimes students ask and - as a non-native - they can be really tricky to answer but it helps when you see that the difference is not really great -even for people with English as their mother tongue.

    So thanks a lot.
    We are happy to have you participate on the forum. I hope I didn't insult you with the comment about the gerund. I just wanted to be clear.

    Your sentence is a good example of an arrangement.

    An order might come in the way of a jury duty notice:

    You are to report to 111 Centre Street at....

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